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The earth and ocean were not hush'd to hear
Bright harmony from every starry sphere;
Nor at Thy presence broke the voice of song

From all the cherub choirs

And seraph's burning lyres PourM through the host of Heaven the charmed clouds along.

One angel troop the strain began,

Of all the race of man

By simple shepherds heard alone,

That soft Hosanna tone.

H. H. Milman

XXXI
GOD INCARNATE

The Holy Son of God most high,
For love of Adam's lapsed race,

Quit the sweet pleasure of the sky,
To bring us to that happy place.

His robes of light He laid aside,
Which did His Majesty adorn,

And the frail state of mortal tried,
In human flesh and figure born.

The Son of God thus man became,
That men the son of God might be,

And by their second birth regain
A likeness to His deity.

Henry Moore

XXXII

AN HYMN ON THE NA TIVITY OF
MY SA VIOUR

I sing the birth was born to night,
The Author both of life and light;

The angels so did sound it.
And like the ravish'd shepherds said
Who saw the light, and were afraid,

Yet search'd, and true they found it.

The Son of God, th' Eternal King,
That did us all salvation bring,

And freed the soul from danger;
He whom the whole world could not take,
The Word which heaven and earth did make,

Was now laid in a manger.

The Father's wisdom will'd it so,
The Son's obedience knew no No,

Both wills were in one stature:
And as that wisdom had decreed,
The Word was now made flesh indeed,

And took on Him our nature.

What comfort by Him do we win,
Who made Himself the price of sin,

To make us heirs of glory!
To see this babe all innocence,
A martyr born in our defence:

Can man forget this story?

Ben Jonson

XXXIII

THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
The time draws near the birth of Christ:

The moon is hid ; the night is still;

The Christmas bells from hill to hill
Answer each other in the mist.

Four voices of four hamlets round,
From far and near, on mead and moor,
Swell out and fail, as if a door

Were shut between me and the sound.

Each voice four changes on the wind, That now dilate, and now decrease, Peace and goodwill, goodwill and peace,

Peace and goodwill, to all mankind.

Rise, happy morn ! rise, holy morn!
Draw forth the cheerful day from night:
O Father! touch the east, and light

The light that shone when hope was born.

A. Tennyson

xxxiv
HYMN TO THE NATIVITY

Gloomy night embraced the place

Where the noble Infant lay;
The Babe look'd up and show'd His face—

In spite of darkness it was day.
It was Thy day, sweet, and did rise
Not from the east, but from Thy eyes,

We saw Thee in Thy balmy nest,

Bright dawn of our eternal day;
We saw Thine eyes break from the east

And chase the trembling shades away:
We saw Thee (and we bless'd the sight),
We saw Thee by Thine own sweet light.

Welcome to our wond'ring sight,

Eternity shut in a span!
Summer in winter! day in night!

Heaven in earth! and God in man!
Great Little One, whose glorious birth
Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth.

R. Crashaw

XXXV

LINES

Suggested by a Picture of the Adoration of the Magians

Little pomp or earthly state

On the Saviour's way might wait;

Few the homages, and small,

That the guilty earth at all

Was permitted to accord

To her King and hidden Lord.

Therefore do we set more store

On those few, and prize them more:

Dear to us for this account

Is the glory of the Mount,

When bright beams of light did spring

Thro' the sackcloth covering,

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Rays of glory found their way
Thro' the garment of decay,
With which, as with a cloak, He had
His divinest splendour clad;
Dear the precious ointment shed
On His feet, and on His head;
And the high-raised hope sublime,
And the triumph of the time
When thro' Zion's streets the way
Of her peaceful Conqueror lay,
Who, fulfilling ancient fame,
Meek, and with salvation came.
But of all this scanty state
That upon His steps might wait,
Dearest are those Magian Kings
With their far-brought offerings.
From what region of the morn
Are ye come thus travel-worn,
With those boxes pearl-embost,
Caskets rare, and gifts of cost?
While your swarth attendants wait
At the stable's outer gate,
And the camels lift their head
High above the lowly shed;
Or are seen a long-drawn train
Winding down into the plain,
From below the light blue line
Of the hills in distance fine.

Dear for your own sake, whence are ye?
Dearer for the mystery
That is round you—on what skies
Gazing, saw you first arise

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